today i cried a lot. more than i have in a long time. it was that kind of really ugly but cathartic gasping sobbing just tearing out of your chest. it was triggered by my boss leaving our agency. i am very attached to her. she's been a mentor and a friend, and we are kindred spirits. i have had so many wonderful conversations with her about our clients, our dedication to the work we do, and how we can continue to improve our agency. we have had even more conversations about our lives- i have felt total freedom to discuss my mental health issues, my past, and my struggles with her. the thought of not having her in the office next to me really breaks my heart. i guess i just don't do well with loss. another unnamed co worker said, "i don't get why everyone is crying. it's not like i'm never going to see her again." because it's going to be different now. and we don't want it to be different. i couldn't sit in while the clients and staff told my boss how they felt about her. i was in full on sob mood, and didn't want everyone to see me and my broken heart on my sleeve. but i always remind myself- try to think of your tears with pride. i cried all the time growing up. i was afraid of my father, and my life, and basically everything. my father screamed more when i cried, so i tried to suppress it. over time, that fear morphed into self hatred, and bitterness, and nihilism. sometimes i would cry during my panic attacks. i learned that the tears stopped when i sliced my skin open with razorblades, letter openers- whatever was sharp and could make me bleed. i was a raw nerve, violently exposed, screaming fuck you. the years i was with my ex, i didn't cry. i was brimming with fear and rage, but i held everything in. or it came out through methods like drinking, or cutting, or drugs. he would get angry when i cried, so i never did. i was in so much pain, but simultaneously so numb. i missed the old rawness that had shaped my feelings for so long. one time i remember crying was when we couldn't get the gas turned back on in our apartment. We had a huge back balance from some other place he and these other kids had lived-i stupidly and regularly offered up my precious social security number for whatever he needed- plus whatever bill we had racked up on the current place. so anyway, it was 20 degrees outside. here was no hot water, and i could see my breath all th time. we bundled the dogs up in my sweaters during the day. at night, me, the boyfriend, and the 3 dogs would pile onto a twin mattress and huddle for warmth. this had been going on for a while, and i was desperate. so that day of tears, we went to apply for a utility assistance program. i was ready to ask for help. and then the blow fell. the case worker told me our balance was too large, and i had to come up with $700. i had been waiting there all day, allowing myself to hope, and i just lost it. i burst into tears in front of everyone, and staggered out of the building. i didn't know what to do and all i could think was "i'm so fucking cold." the tears shocked my boyfriend, who didn't get angry this time, but told me he was going to fix everything. i knew better than that. amazingly, this piece of my story had a happy ending. the 5 ladies i worked with, who were my pittsburgh moms, pooled their money and got my gas turned on. i'm still blown away by it. i was so lucky to be around such angelic and good people, trying to dig me from the hole i had buried myself in. i will forever be grateful for the kindness shown to me by the people i have worked with. thus, many tears today. yet every tear i cry now is brilliant and radiant to me, like tiny diamonds hidden away in my lost heart. Whether from happiness or sadness, or just the ache of living - the fact i can cry, and show emotion, means i am living free.